Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Colina Bruce, Founder, and CEO of Noir Lux Candle Bar, located in Seattle, WA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

At Noir Lux Candle Bar, we specialize in handcrafted soy wax wooden wick candles and unique candle-pouring experiences. Our guests have the option to craft their own custom candles through a guided candle-pouring session or to purchase candles and other items curated by small vendors in our apothecary.

Tell us about yourself

I am Colina, the CEO + Founder of Noir Lux. Our brand is really rooted in self-care and nostalgia, and our company has a unique and fun history of humble beginnings. Noir Lux was born in my kitchen during the pandemic. I had been in the nonprofit sector for over 15 years and had no idea that what started as a passion project would grow into a brick-and-mortar. I taught myself how to make candles, as I found myself lighting candles every morning before hopping on Zoom for work. I built my brand through the support of family and friends before expanding to vendor markets, virtual candle-making classes, and pop-up candle bars. When I opened the candle bar, it was with the mission of using candles as a conduit for community building, and we consider our space to be an incubator for small businesses to connect, grow and thrive.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is yet to come; I believe we have some really exciting things in the works that I can't wait to share soon. But I am very proud of the fact that we have opened a brick-and-mortar and expanded our space to add an apothecary in less than a year. We have had hundreds of guests pour candles in our shop, supported many team building and networking events, and helped many small businesses grow their brand by sharing resources and shelf space.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest parts of being a business owner is figuring out when and how to take things off of your plate. As your business grows, I think it's important to determine what you can hire or contract for so that you don't reach burnout trying to be everything to everybody. Learning how to say "no" is something that I struggle with often because I never want to let someone down or miss an opportunity. But part of being a business owner is also practicing self-care, which starts with figuring out what you need to let go of.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Don't compare yourself or your business to others. Create your own lane and stay in it.
  2. Don't give up. Sometimes a "no" is a setup for your next big step or chapter.
  3. Take care of yourself; you cannot pour from an empty cup.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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